Sunday, October 3, 2010

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus. Is there such thing as good bugs?

Good bugs in your gut

The colon (also known as the large bowel) is a very important organ. It is teaming with bacteria (bugs). The skin (the mucosa) that lines your colon does not get enough blood supply to nourish itself. The large bowel fluid contains lots of different nutrients. These include: growth factors, vitamins, and antioxidants. Many of these nutrients are actually produced by friendly and protective bugs. Another name for these friendly bacteria is "probiotics".

Good bugs are called "probiotics"

There is lots of evidence for positive health benefits of probiotic bugs such as Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus (also known as "acidophilus") has been studied extensively in adults and children. When taken in a dairy product or as a capsule, it colonizes the gut for up to seven days. Extensive safety testing has shown no harmful effects in humans or animals. This is the list of proven benefits for Lactobacillus:

Helps switch off eczema

Helps with Traveller's diarrhoea

Reduces antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

May benefit colitis.

In children’s diarrhoea, it reduces the severity and the duration of the attack.

Has beneficial effects on intestinal immunity.

Stimulates local release of interferon.

"What you eat and drink, shapes your life"

The dietary fibres and complex proteins in your diet are the building blocks that are used to make some of the nutrients for your colon. This is why fibre is so good for us. Fibre is found especially in whole fruits, vegetables and grains. The more processed the food, the less the fibre.

Foods that get to your colon do not get digested properly by your upper gut. These fibres help grow the friendly bugs in your gut. It is recommended that a minimum of 10% of ingested calories and about 20% of the food volume should be "colonic food" of fibre.

Fibre and lactobacillus keep you healthy

Today, many people have bowel problems. This is because of low levels of these good "probiotic" bacteria in their gut. Studies have shown that Lactobacillus can:

preserve key nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants

eliminate toxic components from food

protects food from intestinal decay

helps get rid of bad bugs.

Recommendation: Take a probiotic supplement each day.

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